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BigSmoke.US is no longer mine

Since my three previous posts [1, 2, 3], I’ve made over 7 phone calls to the US, alternating between Wild West Domains and NeuStar. And it turned out that, no, I’m not allowed to have a dot-US domain. So I gave it away.

My father has a great cousin, Roel, who has been a US citizen for the greatest part of his life. Having spent his career wiring mainframes for IBM, he can also be called computer literate. I gave my domain to him and he was kind enough to allow me to keep using it for my websites.

It was the first phone call with NeuStar when I was told that I would, under no circumstances, be allowed to own a .US domain myself. I was also told that this could easily be emended if I could find a US representative for myself to whom I could transfer the domain if I would be lucky enough that the domain wasn’t locked.

That led me to my father’s cousin Roel from Maryland. He’s an absolutely great guy who’s always friendly and willing to help. He accepted ownership of what was then still my domain.

Naively, I tried to transfer my domain using Wild West Domains (WWD). Because it had previously been locked on authority of NeuStar, I tried to unlock it but nothing happened. A call with WWD quickly revealed the cause: NeuStar had put a hold on my domain, meaning that nothing could be done to it until NeuStar removed the hold.

When explaining my situation during my next call with NeuStar, I was first being told that transferring my domain wasn’t allowed. When I brought into recollection that I had been told that it was a proposed solution, my friendly helper disappeared from the phone to talk to other support workers. The outcome was that they would remove the hold if I would fax them a statement of my intend to transfer along with a copy of Roel’s driver’s license to once and for all settle the problem of American citizenship.

Roel went to all the trouble of installing an unused scanner of his to send me his license and I faxed the documents to NeuStar and went to bed. It was AM already.

July 26. The next afternoon, I noticed that, when I tried to unlock the domain, it would again remain stuck in the pending unlock state.

Willy at NeuStar told me that, yes, they had received the papers and, yes, they would remove the hold. (Or they had already removed it; it wasn’t quite clear to me which it was.) Back to WWD: Had I someone screwed up the process by trying to unlock before knowing for sure if the hold had been released? They didn’t know, but they thought it wise to wait a few hours for eventual delays and then see if it still hadn’t been released.

More than a few hours later, I got back to WWD because the unlock was still pending. They couldn’t make sense of it so the issue got reported to technical support and they passed it on to advanced technical support.

A day or so later, the issue still wasn’t resolved, so I made another call. They were working at it and I would be notified as soon as it was resolved. Of course, a few days later I harassed them again to be sure this issue wasn’t somehow forgotten.

Finally, the issue was resolved on August 1:

Dear Sir/Madam,

Our advanced tech support has reviewed the domain bigsmoke.us. We have made the necessary updates to ensure this domain is active and resolving correctly. Please let us know if we can assist you further.

Regards,
David S.
Advanced Technical Support

I quickly updated all the contacts for what is now no longer my domain. Thanks for letting me use your new domain, cousin Roel!


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